Tag: Henry Ford II

Why the death of the stick shift is almost irrelevant to the classic car scene – David Conwill @Hemmings

Why the death of the stick shift is almost irrelevant to the classic car scene – David Conwill @Hemmings

Advertisements

For 1935, Ford offered customers “effortless driving.” Today, that clutch pedal is just too much work for the average new-car buyer.

I hear somebody, maybe Volkswagen, has announced the end of manual transmissions—with other manufacturers almost certain to follow suit. Honestly, I don’t care much.

Any development on new cars is only of peripheral interest to me. I’ll likely never buy a new car. If I did, it would be some kind of roomy, economical family hauler—not a sports machine (the kind my colleague Mark McCourt insists need three pedals). The manual transmission has been extinct in family vehicles for a long while now. I’d much rather spend my money on something like a 1940s De Soto Suburban anyway.

The newest car I’ve personally owned was the 1993 Ford Escort I had from 2001 to 2009. I replaced it with a ’61 Ford Falcon and have largely tried to stick with stuff of ’60s or older vintage ever since. Largely, I’ve also sought out manual transmissions in these older vehicles, though my current car (foreseeably a long-term keeper) has a Powerglide automatic.

Henry Ford II said it himself, way back in 1970: “I think the glamour of the automobile is decreasing… People are looking at it now as a machine to get from place to place to do something else.”

Manual transmissions are like every other manual item of the 20th century that has been automated: air-fuel mixture, spark advance, heck, even staying in your own lane and not tailgating people. Satisfying to those of us that enjoy extracting fine control from a machine, but mostly just an irritation to the average new-car buyer who seems to view driving itself as a major inconvenience anymore. Expecting 21st century, multinational corporations to cater to the enthusiast is a pipe dream. Why not ask for access to their proprietary software while you’re at it?

Better to stick with old cars and create your own reality. They’re not going anywhere, barring draconian legislation that bans driver-operated vehicles from the roads. Even if gasoline goes away, enthusiasts have already started exploring dozens of ways to repower old cars.

Henry Ford II’s Ford Monte Carlo Coupe – Clasiq @YouTube

Advertisements
This dark navy car sitting behind Buck is rare… Some may even think that this beautiful flathead car is European, but its not. Its actually a Ford and this particular Ford was not just owned by anyone but was the personal car for Henry Ford II. This Ford is a one-of-one hand built custom on a Facel Vega body built specifically for Henry Ford II. Buck was lucky enough to acquire this car during his first month of work for the Ford Motor Company. bought for just $800.

So here’s how the story goes: Henry the Deuce’s grandfather established Ford of France in 1929. In 1949, Henry II commissioned Italian coach builder Stabilimenti Farina (not Pinin Farina but Pinin’s brother’s company) to design and build a luxurious sports coupe on a Mercury chassis. That Farina Mercury became the prototype for the French Comete (Comet) built by Ford of France with bodywork supplied by Facel Metallon (yes, as in the Facel Vega).

Further information here at Classic Cars.com Journal

A Fordson for fun: Scale tractor built for Henry Ford’s grandchildren heads to auction – Kurt Ernst @Hemmings

Advertisements

Much like his Model T automobile, Henry Ford’s affordable tractors brought mechanization to the masses, and the Fordson Model F was perhaps the most common small-farm tractor of the early 1920s. To teach farming to his grandchildren, Ford requested a circa 1925 Model F in 5/8-scale, and after its time at his Fair Lane estate hobby farm, this child-size tractor was donated to The Henry Ford. Sold to a collector in 1982, this unique bit of Ford history will be crossing the block in Nokomis, Illinois, on April 13, part of the Aumann Auction Pre ’30 sale.

Read the rest here

Superformance Honors Ford GT40 Le Mans Win – John Lyon @RobbReport

Advertisements

A special edition of the GT40 MKI at SEMA celebrates the golden jubilee of the car’s 1968 Le Mans Victory.

Superformance is bringing a little something special to this year’s SEMA show in Las Vegas (October 30 to November 2). The Southern California automotive continuation and reproduction specialists will publicly debut their Future GT Forty, an extra-special—and heavily upgraded—edition of the manufacturer’s GT40 MKI supercar, itself based on the original Ford GT40 MK I.

Read the article here at Robb Report

Mustangs: Six Generations of America’s Favorite Pony Car – AACA

Advertisements

There will be an exhibition entitled, Mustangs: Six Generations of America’s Favorite Pony Car at the AACA Museum in Hershey PA between May 18th and October 18th 2018.

Among the many exhibits will be the Mustang III Fastback Concept and the 1964 Home Office Special Order Prototype Mustang Convertible.

1964 Home Office Special Order Prototype Mustang Convertible with custom leather interior done as a design center “styling Exercise” per Henry Ford II.

Art Hyde, John Clor & Gale Halderman during their visit on May 18, 2018

More details can be found on the AACA Website

 

The Arsenal of Democracy: FDR, and an Epic Quest to arm an America at War – by A.J. Baime

Advertisements

“The Arsenal of Democracy” was a phrase coined by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1940 in reference to the collaborative efforts of American industry in supporting the allied war effort by mobilising the mass production efforts to change production from consumer and other products to plane, tanks, bombs and other item required to win the war

As with all of A J Baime’s books this one is well researched and shows a deep knowledge of Detroit industry and in particular Ford Motor Company in wartime. The intricacies of the complex Father & Son relationship between Henry I and Edsel and the rise of Henry II are well described, along with Edsel Ford’s largely unsung role. Having read extensively on the subject of the early Ford Motor Company this book is a great addition and provided many new angles and facts.

A great read!

As an interesting footnote to the story of Willow Run, there is a campaign to stop the demolition of the bomber plant.

Read about it here

Henry: A Life of Henry Ford II by Walter Hayes

Advertisements

I’m currently reading  Henry : A Life of Henry Ford II  by former Ford employee Walter Hayes

Henry: A Life of Henry Ford II

Henry Ford II arrives in the Netherlands (1954).

As those of you who read the blog know I’m a bit of a student of Henry Ford

This book has been a real eye opener for me in as much as I now understand how instrumental Henry Ford II was in saving Ford Motor Company after the death of old Henry.

Henry II took over the ailing company at a very young 25 years of age and was in office from 1945 until 1979 and died at the age of 70 in 1987

You can read more about Henry’s reign here